People buy meaning not product

A little while ago I was talking to the Marketing Director of one of the leading consumer goods companies here in Europe and we began talking around his question “where does design fit in innovation and consumer goods?”

I started this with posing the premise back “What do things really mean?”  For example we need to have a clear vision of what good food means to us. We need to seek out and define a new meaning through, perhaps, design. So the question then became “how do you give meaning to things?” We innovate by making sense of these things- “People don’t buy product they buy meaning” Continue reading

The Hidden Human Dimension of Innovation

Why do so many of us get fixated on new technologies, discoveries, inventions, the process, the structures, even the art of creativity within innovation? Certainly each of these have their important contributing part to play in building a coherency for innovation, but the ingredient that tops them all and often forgotten or assigned as the afterthought is people. People making innovation work, all the rest are the enablers to help them.

The Australian Business Foundation published a report last year- the Hidden Human Dimensions of Innovation ( and in part of a speech given by its Chief Executive, Narelle Kennedy at an Innovation 2009 conference she spoke of this people factor. Continue reading

Where consultants contribute to innovation

I have been concerned for quiet some time about the ‘state’ of the consulting industry when it comes to innovation. There are simply far too many out there offering pieces of the innovation equation. If I was a client I’d be getting fairly hacked off- different people, different approaches, styles, methods of working and that nagging feeling it does not fit any bigger picture.

How do we resolve this?

Combining all these islands of knowledge into some form of combined force would be a healthy step but before we go there I was thinking about what does an innovation consultant contribute and where?

Here are my opening thoughts on this: Continue reading

Seven deadly sins of bloggers

I am a reluctant blogger, I tend to be someone that ‘reacts’ to others blogs. According to a ‘limited’ feedback I have been encouraged to start my own blog. I might regret this so I decided to provide as my first blog a piece of advise that I will try to avoid falling into, as typical sandtraps:

The Seven Deadly Sins of bloggers and aspiring thought leaders that we need reminding about.

1. Isolation

Blogging in increasing isolation and not having enough people reading and reacting to what you are suggesting. Then getting increasingly strident to gain people’s attention forgetting that too much sensationalism does not hold the attention long and thoughtfulness rules the day. Continue reading